Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Doris Piserchia

Doris Piserchia

Doris Piserchia was born in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1928, graduated from Fairmont State College in 1950, and served in the Navy from 1950 to 1954. She started writing science fiction while working toward her Master's Degree in Educational Psychology.

Following is a (perhaps partial) list of her novels; the asterisks (*) indicate the novels that I have read.

  • Mister Justice, 1972, ACE.

  • Star Rider, 1974, Bantam Books.*

  • A Billion Days of Earth, 1976, Bantam Books.*

  • Earthchild, 1977, DAW.*

  • Spaceling, 1978, DAW.*

  • The Fluger, 1980, DAW.*

  • The Spinner, 1980, DAW.* 1

  • Doomtime: The war of the world trees, 1981, DAW.*

  • Earth in Twilight, 1981, DAW.

  • The Dimensioneers, 1982, DAW.

  • Blood County 1982, DAW, as Curt Selby.

  • I, Zombie 1982, DAW, as Curt Selby.

  • The Deadly Sky, 1983, DAW.*

I ran across Spaceling first (well, maybe 2), and from there went looking for her other works. Oddly enough, I didn't realize she was originally from Fairmont until years later in the early 1990s when I saw it mentioned in the "About the Author" blurb of one of her books I picked up at a used bookstore.

Spaceling is definitely my favorite of her novels. It is an entertaining coming-of-age story about Daryl, a 14 year old girl with amnesia who is one of the few who can see the brightly colored rings that are dimensional portals and who changes shape when she passes through those portals.

Several of her novels are set in the far distant future, such as Star Rider and A Billion Days of Earth. The Spinner and The Fluger both use the idea of alien creature/being that goes on a rampage and must be hunted down.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction by John Clute and Peter Nicholls includes an interesting entry on Doris Piserchia.

There are a number of much better pages on Doris Piserchia on the web these days. Here's one that has an interesting interview with her. There is also a low volume mailing list.

1

I reread this in November 1997, and found it odder than I had remembered. It depicts, among other things, the careless destruction of one ecosystem and the rampage of the one surviving member of that ecosystem; the plight of the elderly, and one moderately successful but unpleasant way of dealing with it; the decay of a civic organism when subjected to extreme stress; illegal and immoral medical experiments; distrust of the competence of the military; and the moral and mental decay of a number of individuals.

2

I may have actually run across Star Rider earlier, but if so I was too young for it to make much of an impression on me.